On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Elvis Presley – Suspicious Minds (1969)
Back to the US today, dear reader, and I know it hasn’t been long but we need to check in again with the King – Elvis Presley. Last time out we went to Chicago to hear about a young man In the Ghetto. That song marked a comeback of sorts for Presley and today we have a song that became one of his most-loved and continued his return to glory at the end of this decade. Written and recorded by Mark James, Suspicious Minds was not successful upon release so James acquiesced to Presley having a go at the song and the result was a place on this list.
In Suspicious Minds Elvis sings about a man who is in a difficult quandary. He describes being in a trap with his lover but what is the problem? Well, this woman is suspicious of our protagonist, thinks he may be cheating on her but this is not the case. The narrator tells his lover that the situation cannot continue. He is faithful and has never lied but her continued doubts are making him question their future. He doesn’t question it for long you understand. While he thinks he should walk away from the “suspicious minds” of the title, he loves this woman too much to do so and pleads with her not to ruin what they already have.
If you’re familiar with Elvis Presley there is a good chance that you will have heard Suspicious Minds at some point. Not a success for Mark James, it was a huge hit for the King and it’s said that whenever he saw James in future he always ventured over to speak with him, such was Presley’s gratitude for the song. It remains one of the King’s best accomplishments, conveying the tortured soul of the protagonist who is too in love to leave someone that simply does not trust him.
Favourite songs so far:
The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)
Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)
The Who – Substitute (1966)
The Rolling Stones – Paint It Black (1966)
The Beach Boys – God Only Knows (1966)
The Doors – The End (1967)
The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)
Procol Harum – A Whiter Shade of Pale (1967)
The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (1968)
The Kinks – Days (1968)